Sunday, December 5, 2010

Internet Communication

When language is used by non native speaks, they tend to simplify the language. It is evident that English, as a lingua franca - “a language systematically used to communicate between persons not sharing a mother tongue” (Wikipedia, n.d.) is evolving with development of new abbreviations and slang, and easing grammar structure to simplify the language . Bill Templer (2009), notes that “we need a slimmer, sustainable lingua franca specially for trans-cultural working-class communication needs, a kind of 'convivial' English for the Multitude counterposed to English for Empire”.
At the same time, as human being we are constantly expressing emotions though facial expressions and gestures. In conversation, words, as well as body language are used to express our feeling, and in many cases slang is used to convey the message.
Similar process is happening to the language used for the online communication. For example, in China “as a result of the rapid development of computer-mediated communication, there has emerged a distinctive variety of Chinese language, which is generally termed Chinese Internet Language” (Gao, Liwei. 2006). English is not an exception and new abbreviations such as LOL (Laughing Out Loud), ROFL (Rolling On Floor Laughing), WILCO (Will Comply) *$ (Starbucks) and W8 (Wait) are widely used in online forums and chat rooms. Furthermore, according to Alla Markh (2004), different communicative situations involve different style of languages. Lexical and stylistic items of one style can be transferred to another style, in other words those can influence each other to a certain extent. For example, in the modern English language, abbreviation LOL appears not only in chats where it derives from, but also in the written and spoken language.
David Crystal (2009) explains that “abbreviations are a natural, intuitive response to a technological problem”. He argues that texters would not be able to use the technology (mobile phones, forums and chats) at all without having at least base knowledge in standard English writing system. In addition, the creation of abbreviation and slang should not be attributed to a younger generation influenced by the Internet. For example, the words “wot” (“what”) and “cos” (“because”) are part of English literary tradition and were used by Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. Furthermore, those words were given entry to Oxford English dictionary in the 19th century demonstrates that the language evolves with time to keep pace with society.


  • Crystal, David 2009, Txtng: frNd or foe?The Linguist, The Threlford Memorial Lecture, 47 (6), 8-11. Available from: (accessed December 5, 2010).
  • Gao, Liwei. 2006. "Language contact and convergence in computer-mediated communication." World Englishes 25, no. 2: 299-308. Academic Search Complete, (accessed December 5, 2010).
  • Markh, Alla (2004), Nonverbal Means of Expressiveness in Internet Communication. On the Material of English and Russian Chats. International Higher School of Practical Physiology.
  • Netlingo (2010), The List of Chat Acronyms & Text Message Shorthand [online]. Available from: (accessed December 5, 2010).
  • Templer, Bill. 2009. "A Two-Tier Model for a More Simplified and Sustainable English as an International Language." Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS) 7, no. 2: 187. EDS Foundation Index, EBSCOhost (accessed December 5, 2010).
  • Wikipedia (n.d.), Lingua franca [online]. Available from: (accessed December 5, 2010).

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